LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips was all smiles as he came off the Nutter Training Center practice fields Friday morning after what he called the best practice session of the spring season for the Wildcats.
Phillips said he was extremely pleased with the energy level of practice and thinks having a large crowd observe practice – UK football hosted part of its yearly coaching clinic at practice this morning – helped get the players more “amped” and focused.
“This was probably one of the best practices that we have had this spring and it probably had a lot to do with us having a lot of people here,” Phillips said. “It was a really good, upbeat practice.”
Phillips said as the head coach you sometimes have mixed feeling about practice because it’s rare both sides of the ball play up to expectations. Although that proved true again Friday, Phillips was pleased all around because both sides did good things.
“As a head coach you kind of get mixed emotions about practice because one side is playing well and the other side will take over, so it’s back and forth,” Phillips said. “Today was the same way, the defense was causing a couple turnovers and then there were some big plays made on offense.”
Phillips and the UK coaching staff hope the enthusiasm and focus continues into Saturday’s scrimmage. The UK head coach said this scrimmage will go a long way in determining some of the position battles.
“What I want us to do is have one of the most competitive scrimmages we have had since we have been here,” Phillips said. “That is what we told the guys. Hopefully, we will have a good day tomorrow.”
Phillips said overall he is pleased with his team’s improvement this spring, but he still sees room for improvement.
“We are not as close as we need to be,” Phillips said. “But we are better today than we were in practice one (March 21). We still have a lot of work to do. But we will battle. We will fight. We will scratch. We will claw.”
After Saturday’s scrimmage, UK will practice again Wednesday and Friday of next week before concluding the spring season with the annual Blue/White Game on Saturday, April 21 at 6 p.m. ET.
For more information on the Kentucky football team, follow “UKFootball” on Twitter, or visit UKathletics.com.